Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tart up with Tartan

a cool couch for tartan thoughts from Willam Sonoma Home

“Forgive early, kiss slowly, love wholeheartedly, laugh loudly,” said Yael Raz, “Because life may not be the party we all hope for.”

SO, I am thinking the holidays are nigh and what about throwing a Scottish Tea Party? Life may not be the party we hope for, but we can definitely make more parties
& improve our chances.

I have my tartan wrap that I love - it makes me think about celtic jewelery, white blouses edged with crochet & lace, shiny black boots with button hooks, velvet - I am translating this feeling into the perfect tea party.

Domino Magazine December 08 shows a sofa tarted up for the winter, using a couple of plaid throws, and the resident floor zebra with campaign tables.

Doing some research, I discovered that tartans were decorative cloth that were limited by color and design in different areas, using coarse wools. This then led to the creation of clan tartans. Check out this fabulous site all about Tartans.- the Tartans of Scotland. This sounds like the perfect title for one of those science fiction stories.

Did you know there are at least 2800 known Tartans? documented on the site, and all gorgeous.
Here are a couple to wet your appetite- they certainly make me dizzy with delight:

Abercrombie (Wilson's No. 64) Family Tartan WR1043

Scottish Tartans World Register: Galloway
Galloway District Tartan WR1469

Scottish Tartans World Register: Jahore
Jahore District Tartan WR1309

What clan does the tartan you adore belong to ? or head over to a tasty Scottish Food Site to order some figge pudding? Who knew Scot tea is something particular.

For our tea - all you need is a tartan throw or a couple of yards of fabric from your local haberdashery or fabric store thrown over the tea table. I love to serve tea at the sofa, piled high
with pillows :

pillow maker FablesandFoxes

Underneath the tartan have six to eight inches of lace showing. Here you can get inventive.
Old family tablecloths or lace curtains will do the trick. Velvet and or black ribbons. White crocheted blankets ( afghans) Lift up the plaid and attach a brooch in silver - thistles or flowers or animals.
I am thinking that black and white cushions in a bold check or using a cameo inspiration or the silhouette. these ideas can also be used to decorate. A garland of silhouettes with black paper, silver and pearl chains. Black and white botanical prints and drawings.

Check out these fab ornaments and the chance to create your own silhouette pillows, plus buy super prints at Simply Silhouettes or check out the blog perfect to round out your Scott cheer.

A silver tea service or at least a large tray with handles, a big teapot, cream and sugar containers that echo the feel of "olde worlde charme" , bone china cups.
Mix and match -to your style and your budget. Napkins edged in lace, plates or baskets lined with doilies or delicate odd napkins -found at thrift stores, a garage sale or granny's cupboard, piled high with raisin toast and butter, scones & jam and clotted cream, home made shortbread or the ones in the tartan boxes, a pretty vase crammed with purple heather or some wild looking flowers, orchids or african violets. Handkerchiefs dampened with lavender water. Candied violets. Loose leaf tea. Lots of lovely hot water. Sugar cubes and dainty spoons, and a hot water jug with lid.

Martha Stewart Sugar Cookie Stacks

Crystal real (or just the appearance of decanters) with good scotch whisky and some cut glass glasses. or heavy bottomed ones (funny how you only want heavy bottoms on glasses)

You can pile on the rich but ratty look or even the eccentric charm to emphasize the to the manor born feel.

Go wild - indulge the highlander or the lowlander within. Dress the part and take your guests back to a new world.

Keep a big book of poetry on hand to read out loud.(or to look intellectual)


by John Donne

UPON this Primrose hill,
Where, if heaven would distil
A shower of rain, each several drop might go
To his own primrose, and grow manna so ;
And where their form, and their infinity
Make a terrestrial galaxy,
As the small stars do in the sky ;
I walk to find a true love ; and I see
That 'tis not a mere woman, that is she,
But must or more or less than woman be.

happy tea drinking... a wee dram of scotch is supposed to improve the tea...

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